U.S. Freestyle Nationals: Hudak, Wise take 3rd U.S. halfpipe titles


Jen Hudak just had to hold on.
    Her qualifying run seeded her first in the halfpipe contest, but in a training run just before that, she crashed hard knocking the wind out of her. “I had to figure out how to make it through the rest of the day,” she said, clearly in pain. And she did. Hudak’s steady skiing throughout the next few runs solidified her as the three-time U.S. Freestyle Championships winner.
PARK CITY, Utah — Jen Hudak just had to hold on.
    Her qualifying run seeded her first in the halfpipe contest, but in a training run just before that, she crashed hard knocking the wind out of her. “I had to figure out how to make it through the rest of the day,” she said, clearly in pain. And she did. Hudak’s steady skiing throughout the next few runs solidified her as the three-time U.S. Freestyle National Championships winner.
    “It’s an important event to me … especially having my roots starting in USSA and hopefully we’ll eventually have a U.S. team for halfpipe and hopefully it will be in the Olympics,” the 21-year-old said. “It’s important to me to keep my foot in the USSA side of things so I was a little stressed but pulled it together.”
    Originally from Connecticut, Hudak started as a moguls skier. Then she switched to park and pipe at Okemo Mountain in Vermont where she met her coach Elana Chase who she works with at Aspen Valley Ski Club. Hudak now lives in Park City.
    Hudak’s winning run was a straight air mute grab, straight air with a critical, 540 mute grab, alley-oop safety grab, and seven to take the top podium spot. With this win, she capped off an impressive season, beating her long-time rival Sarah Burke at World Cup Finals earlier this month and taking second overall in the World Cup standings.
    Gina Gmeiner followed Hudak in second place, and U.S. Open champion Jessica Cumming was third.
    On the men’s side, David Wise, 17, also became a three-time U.S. Nationals champ. The Idaho local had a tough season, out most of it with a knee injury and broken collarbone. So to finish the season as national champ, well, he was excited.
    “I’m so stoked,” he said. “I’ve been having the greatest week out here just training well everyday. It’s just been epic.”
    He won with a flair, alley-oop flat-spin five, back-to-back nine, left nine, right nine, and seven.
    Walter Wood finished second and Kyle Smaine was third.

U.S. Freestyle Nationals: St. Onge, Cook snare titlesU.S. Freestyle Nats: Torito, Morse tops in moguls

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